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Many conflicts come up in life that can simply be solved by a competition that results in a clear-cut winner.  For example, if two people were to argue over who was the fastest runner, all that they would have to do is race against each other to end this controversy.  For years, one of the biggest conflicts arose when people attempted to determine who was the more attractive.  Although beauty is an abstract concept (the famous saying being that beauty is in the eye of the beholder), it doesn’t mean that it can’t be judged through some sort of competition that would ultimately reward one person as more attractive as a group of others.

In this way, pageants serve a valuable function for society.  Rather than have beautiful people fight each other in a rage due to an inability to determine who’s the most attractive, pageants are here to come up with a concrete conclusion.  Although pageants do not necessarily have to revolve around physical beauty, for the most part, they do.

The most famous beauty pageant is the Miss America Pageant, in which all of the American states are represented by one of their own beauties.  The contestants than compete in a number of tasks that includes a talent competition, an eveningwear competition, and a swimsuit competition.  However, this isn’t all about beauty but rather social justice concerns are tested.  Each contestant has a cause and they get to tell America their concerns, otherwise known as concerns that don’t get nearly as much attention as the Miss America Pageant.

On a larger scale resides the famed Miss Universe Pageant.  Although there is also a Miss Earth Pageant, I believe that everybody would agree that the universe is just a little bit more significant than the earth, although the earth itself is magnificent.  In the Miss Universe Pageant, each country has a beauty representing their nation in a competition that finally answers many a male quandary of ”which country produces the sexiest women.”

Of course, beauty pageants don’t necessarily have to take such a large amount of area space.  There are often local pageants that have competitions about who is the most beautiful person in town.  Additionally, there’s a street in Wisconsin that has an unofficial beauty pageant to determine who is the most beautiful person on that street.  Although the winner apparently doesn’t receive a prize, they do receive bragging rights.

Beauty pageants also can be divided among age groups.  As a result, it’s not only women who are able to receive accolades for their beauty but also young girls.  Junior beauty pageants are common, as are children beauty pageants.  Although children beauty pageants freak me out a little bit, I can take solace in the Mr. Show sketch that parodied this phenomenon by showcasing a pre-natal beauty pageant.  Who knows, maybe this is actually the wave of the future.